Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sandy Hanks and Bill Wheeler named 2014 Itasca County Outstanding Senior Volunteers

The Outstanding Senior Volunteer (OSV) Selection Committee has selected Sandy Hanks and Bill Wheeler as the 2014 OSV award recipients. While all volunteers deserve recognition and appreciation, based on the nominations presented to the Selection Committee facilitated by ElderCircle, these two volunteers have gone above and beyond in service to many area organizations.

Since Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been tracking many of Sandy Hank’s volunteer hours, she has logged more than 3,031 hours in more than 20 different capacities. In the past nine years, Sandy has served at many organizations, including the Itasca County Committee on Aging, Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital, Community CafĂ©, and logged many tireless hours reading for the blind on KAXE Community Radio. While bravely dealing with her own recurring medical issues, her positive attitude, affectionate smile, and compassion have not kept her from giving her time and talents to those in need. Also the 2014 recipient of KAXE Community Radio’s “Silent Star Award”, Hanks is described as “having invisibly caused much to happen, creating good for so many, without announcement, hype or flare.”

Bill Wheeler has served in many organizations, including Itasca Holiday Program and RSVP HandyHands, as well as serving with great commitment at the Second Harvest North Central Food Bank and Grand Rapids Food Shelf. In the 11 years that the RSVP has been tracking his volunteer hours, he has logged more than 3,100 hours in almost 20 different volunteer roles. As quoted from a letter of recommendation, “Bill Wheeler has continued to be one of the most effective and hardest working volunteers in our history since he came through our doors in 2003.” His compassion, generosity, leadership and loyal commitment are great assets to every individual and organization Wheeler comes in contact with.

The annual awards ceremony was held during “Senior Day at the Fair” on Friday, Aug. 15 at 12:30 p.m. when Bill Wheeler and Sandy Hanks were presented with their awards. Their nominations have also been submitted to the Minnesota State Fair to represent Itasca County for consideration of the Minnesota State Senior Volunteer Awards, which will be presented on Thursday, August 28 at the State Fair.

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